Sharing and learning from the evidence

The fourth stage of the evidence cycle is that you build upon the evidence. Reviewing evidence regularly is good practice and allows you to adapt your programme, service or organisation in a responsive manner, helping to ensure that you will have the impact that you seek.

Learning should not be limited to only those involved in the delivery or funding of your initiative. Sharing with others will not only help colleagues and peers to improve effectiveness and efficiency, it can also help the sector identify best practice around what works.

How to use the evidence

Module 4 of the Evaluation handbook looks at using and communicating evaluation findings.

Section 3.2 of the Evidence rating scale guides stakeholders on whether or not programmes or services should be implemented or continued in light of the evidence that is available.

Section 5.3 of the Evaluation standards (developed in partnership with Aotearoa New Zealand Evaluation Association (ANZEA) discusses standards in the evaluation journey.

How to share evidence

The Publishing protocol sets out good practice for publishing government social science research and evaluation outputs.

The Hub is a one-stop-shop for New Zealand social science government research related to education, health and wellbeing, crime and justice, housing, employment, families, children and young people.

An example of sharing and learning from evidence is the one-page graphical summary, which captures the key points made during the interactive sessions which were part of Evidence to Action 2017. The question being addressed was :
How can we understand where each other is coming from, and ensure that evidence is more effectively used to bring about positive action?

Superu's principals are often asked to speak on various aspects of evaluation and evidence use, and we have published recent presentations here:

Viv Smith, now Director of Research Operations at Massey University, spoke at a science workshop on Superu's role in building evaluation capacity, and the importance of an evaluation culture in a learning organisation.

Principal Carolyn O'Fallon made presentations to the Australasian Evaluation Society's 2017 conference on evaluating complex programmes and using quality evidence to support New Zealand's Budget process



A body of facts or information that can be presented to inform judgement. Evidence can be quantitative or qualitative, and may come from various sources including performance monitoring, research, evaluation, statistics and expert opinion.

Evaluation planning for funding applicants - this step-by-step guide includes information on understanding the cause of outcomes and interpreting results.  

Evaluation guide for funders – this guide promotes a collaborative approach to working with providers.

Evidence checklist – this list describes the evidence for effectiveness.

Superu and Victoria University's School of Government hosted a round table in June 2017 on the use of evidence in public policy.

The Policy Project within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet produced this conversation tracker.

Superu commissioned two evaluation case studies. The lessons learned report outlines what is needed to get an organisation ready to do an evaluation of their work. The evaluation findings for the mentoring programmes (one a process evaluation, the other an outcome evaluation) are also available.

Superu has also commissioned a range of other evaluations (e.g. summative, cost-benefit, place-based) related to the Prime Minister's Youth Mental Health Project.

We know words matter. To help you out we have put together a full evaluation glossary that presents a range of terms, gives a brief definition and explanation for each of them, and lists some alternatives or synonyms you might also come across. 

In June 2017 Superu hosted its annual Evidence to Action conference for 150 evaluation practitioners and policy makers.
Our event page has been updated to include speaker bios, presentations and video footage of their talks.
We produced a one-page graphical summary capturing the outputs from the four interactive sessions.
Download the “conversation tracker” that records the discussion between our keynote speaker, Dr Sarah Morton of What Works Scotland, and senior public servants.

A presentation to a science workshop on Superu's work in building evaluative capacity in the social sector, and the value of evaluation to organisation.

The Australasian Evaluation Society's 2017 conference featured two presentations from Superu: Creating credible findings in evaluating a complex programme, and Building an evidence-based social sector in New Zealand.

ANZEA - Aotearoa New Zealand's professional association for evaluators.

What Works NZ has produced information encouraging sharing what you've learned, and on becoming a learning organisation.

Community Research NZ is an active online site that features webinars, research and directories.

The Knowledge Mobilization toolkit from Canada will help you do more with what you know.

A handy guide to generating and using evidence has been published by Evaluation Scotland.

Last update: 18 Oct 2017